Earn points for your everyday spending and redeem them for travel, gift cards, shopping and more with a rewards credit card.
Use this guide to compare reward credit card offers and features. You can also look at the range of reward programs available and learn about the different factors to consider so you can find a credit card that works for you.
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points
Offer ends 30 June 2018
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Virgin Money Credit Card Offer
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
- $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter).
- 20.74% p.a. on purchases
- Cash advance rate of 20.99% p.a.
- Up to 44 days interest free
- Minimum income requirement of $35,000 p.a.
Compare the best rewards credit cards* 2018
The best* reward credit cards – trending now
Compare the features, bonus points and earn rates of the rewards cards below:
- American Express Explorer Credit Card. Offers a bonus 50,000 points when you meet the spend requirements and earns up to 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
- ANZ Rewards Platinum Credit Card. Enjoy an introductory 65,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement and up to 1.5 points per $1 spent.
- Citi Rewards Signature Credit Card. Get a bonus 120,000 points when you meet the requirements. You'll also earn between 1 and 2 points per $1 spent.
- HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card. Get an introductory 60,000 Qantas Points when you apply for this card by 30 June 2018 and meet the spending requirement. Also collect up to 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
How do rewards credit cards work?
These credit cards reward you for your everyday spending by offering you points per $1 spent on everyday purchases. Usually, you'll earn these points through a credit card company's rewards program (e.g. ANZ Rewards and CommBank Awards), a frequent flyer program (e.g. Qantas or Velocity Frequent Flyer) or a retail rewards programs (e.g. flybuys or David Jones). When you've earned enough points through one of these programs, you can redeem them for rewards such as travel, flight upgrades, gift cards, cashback and merchandise.
However, most rewards credit cards in Australia have higher standard interest rates and annual fees than other cards. So it's important to compare these potential costs against the value of the rewards to help you decide if the benefits are worth it.
Example: How to compare the costs and potential value of a rewards card
To help you decide if a rewards card is worth it, consider the annual fee, the amount of points you'll usually earn and what rewards that could get you. For example, if a reward credit card had a $199 annual fee but you knew you could get more than $200 value from the points you'd earn, then it would be worth it. But if you could only get $100 value from rewards, you'd end up paying more for the cards that what you got from the rewards (and that's before you factor in any interest charges).
What is an eligible transaction on a rewards credit card?
Each credit card rewards program has a different definition of which transactions are eligible to earn points. But generally, you'll get points for most of your everyday purchases including spending at retail stores, supermarkets and petrol stations. Common exclusions are government charges (including ATO payments), BPAY transactions, cash advances, balance transfers, account fees and account charges. Check the rewards program's terms and conditions for a full list of eligible and ineligible transactions so you know when you will earn rewards.
What rewards can I redeem with my credit card points?
The rewards you can get with a credit card depend on the card you choose and the rewards program. Some of the most popular reward categories include:
- Flight upgrades
- Gift cards
- Fuel vouchers
- Instant shopping discounts
- Fashion items
- Tickets for theme parks or movies
How can I spend my credit card reward points?
The steps you need to take to redeem your credit card reward points will vary between programs, but you can usually expect to have to do the following:
- Account login. If you're redeeming points online, you'll need to log in to your credit card or rewards program account to make redemptions. Once you have logged in, it’s usually a simple process of going to the “Rewards” section, then selecting “Use points” and following the prompts.
- Required points. Each reward available requires a specific number of points (e.g. 12,000 points for a $50 gift card). This means you should have at least that amount of points in your account to redeem your chosen reward.
- Points plus pay. Many credit card and frequent flyer reward programs allow you to use a combination of points and money to redeem rewards. This option is usually available for a selection of rewards, such as travel or merchandise, and gives you more flexibility if you haven’t earned enough points for your chosen reward.
Types of credit card rewards programs in Australia
There are a variety of different reward credit cards you can choose from based on the benefits you want. We've outlined the four main reward categories below.
Frequent flyer programs
If you have a card linked to a frequent flyer program, you can earn points and redeem rewards with a particular airline (such as Qantas or Virgin Australia). There are two main ways you can earn frequent flyer points with a rewards credit card in Australia:
- Direct earn frequent flyer credit cards. These cards are linked with a specific frequent flyer program and rewards are added directly to your airline loyalty account. The frequent flyer programs that are linked to direct earn credit cards in Australia include Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer and Emirates Skywards.
- Indirect earn frequent flyer credit cards. These rewards credit cards let you transfer the points you earn to many different frequent flyer programs from all around the world, giving you more flexibility if you fly with a range of airlines. Credit card rewards programs that indirectly earn frequent flyer points include American Express Membership Rewards, ANZ Rewards, CommBank Awards and NAB Rewards. However, you should note that these cards usually have less competitive earn rates after you exchange your reward points to frequent flyer points.
Credit card rewards programs
Many credit card companies in Australia have their own branded rewards programs. If you get a rewards credit card linked to one of these programs, you can usually redeem points for a variety of rewards including frequent flyer points, travel, merchandise, gift cards and credit on your account. The credit card rewards programs available in Australia include:
Automatic and instant reward options on credit cards
Many credit card reward programs give you the option of setting up automatic redemptions for specific rewards, such as cashback, gift cards or frequent flyer points. For example, ANZ Rewards offers an auto-redemption option for Velocity Frequent Flyer points. With this option, all your ANZ Rewards points are automatically transferred to your Velocity account annually, periodically or when you have earned a specific amount of ANZ Rewards points.
Other credit card companies offer instant redemptions with certain retailers. For example, if you have a CommBank Awards credit card you can redeem your points in-store at Myer or Flight Centre.
Retail rewards credit cards
These rewards credit cards offer you points and other perks when you shop with a particular supermarket or major retailer, such as Coles, Woolworths or David Jones. You can compare some of the most popular options in the table below.
|David Jones||David Jones Store card||Exclusively for use in David Jones department stores, you can choose between earning points for gift cards or Qantas Points. Receive exclusive in-store benefits such as complimentary standard delivery, gift-wrapping and VIP invitations.|
|David Jones American Express||Earn Membership Rewards or Qantas Points for purchases in David Jones and everywhere else. Enjoy exclusive in-store benefits at David Jones.|
|David Jones American Express Platinum Card||Earn Membership Rewards or Qantas Points for purchases in David Jones and everywhere else. Enjoy exclusive in-store benefits at David Jones, plus complimentary travel insurance and airport lounge access.|
|Coles||Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard||Earn flybuys points per $1 spent. Get free Coles Online delivery when you spend $100 or more with an eligible Coles Mastercard.|
|Coles Platinum No Annual Fee Mastercard||Earn flybuys points per $1 spent. Get free Coles Online delivery when you spend $100 or more with an eligible Coles Mastercard.|
|Coles Rewards Mastercard||Earn flybuys points per $1 spent. Get free Coles Online delivery when you spend $100 or more with an eligible Coles Mastercard.|
|Coles Platinum Rewards Mastercard|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card||Earn Woolworths points per $1 spent. Get automatic redemption of points for Woolworths Gift Cards every four months.|
Cashback credit cards
These types of reward credit cards add credit or “cash” to your account when you meet certain spending requirements. Most cashback credit cards offer a percentage of your total spend as cashback or provide a one-time account credit as an introductory offer when you apply and are approved for a specific credit card. Currently, the bcu Rewards credit card is one of the only options to earn cashback for your eligible spending on an ongoing basis.
Cashback options with other rewards credit cards
You can also get cashback through most of the frequent flyer, credit card and supermarket or retail rewards programs outlined above. Just choose the “cash” or “gift cards” category of your rewards program to see what options are available.
What's the best rewards credit card in Australia?
This depends on your individual circumstances and goals. With such a wide range of options available, there is no single "best" credit card for earning rewards. But you can find a card that works for you by comparing cards based on factors including the rewards earn rate, bonus points and other extras, as well as the annual fee and interest rates. If you weigh these details up against your current spending habits, you'll be able to see if the rewards you earn will be worth the costs so that you can decide if the card is right for you.
How to compare rewards credit cards in Australia
To find a credit card that suits your spending habits and goals, you'll need to compare a range of different options before you apply. This helps you find the right mix of benefits and costs for you. To get started, here are the key features to compare that will help you find a card that works for you:
- Points per dollar. The more points you earn per dollar spent, the greater the potential value. A good rule of thumb is to look for a card that offers at least 1 point per $1 spent for most transactions.
- Point expiry and caps. Some credit card reward points expire after a certain amount of time, and some accounts have a limit on how many points you can earn in a month or year.
- Bonus point offers. Rewards credit cards often have sign-up deals that give you hundreds or thousands of bonus points. Usually, these offers require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card in the first few months you have it. As these offers only last for a limited time, you should only consider them after you have a clear idea of the type of card you want so that you can get the most value out of the deal and the rewards card you choose.
Redeeming points for rewards
- Point values. To work out the value of your rewards, consider how many points you would need to redeem for a specific reward. For example, if you need 12,000 points to get a $50 gift card and your credit card has an earn rate of 1 point per $1 spent, you would have to spend $12,000 to make a redemption. Breaking down the rewards like this can help you determine whether it’s worth your time and money.
- Rewards partners. Rewards programs often partner with retailers and businesses to provide you with a wider range of redemption options. You may also have the opportunity to earn bonus points when you shop with partner stores. Choose a credit card rewards program that has partnerships with your favourite brands and products so you can take advantage of these options.
- Redemption limitations. Some rewards programs have blackout periods when you may not be able to make redemptions. Check the fine print for this information and consider the impact it could have on you.
Rates and fees
- Annual fees. Most rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. The value of the rewards you earn should be equal to or more than the annual fee of the credit card to make it worthwhile. You could also compare rewards credit cards that offer no annual fee – just remember to check if the annual fee is waived in the first year or $0 for life.
- Foreign transaction fees. Most credit cards apply a charge for transactions made overseas or with an international retailer online, usually 2% to 3.5% of the total transaction. Make sure you consider this fee before choosing a card – especially for any rewards card that offers more points for foreign transactions. You can compare cards with no foreign transaction fees with this guide.
- Purchase rates. Rewards credit cards often have high standard interest rates. If you think you’ll carry a balance, consider how much interest your purchases will accrue and whether the rewards will outweigh the cost of your repayments.
- Balance transfer rates. Some balance transfer credit cards also come with rewards. These cards allow you to move an existing debt to the new card and pay a low introductory interest rate on the balance. But you won't earn points for the balance that you transfer and any new purchases will attract the card's purchase interest rate. If you have credit card debt, it may be better to focus on paying it off completely before considering a rewards card.
- Cash advance rates. If you use a rewards credit card for a cash advance transaction, such as getting money from an ATM, you will be charged interest at the cash advance rate. This rate could be as high as 22% p.a. Cash advances usually don't earn reward points either.
- Other fees. Check for other costs, such as late payment fees or additional cardholder fees, so that you can choose a card that is affordable for you.
Rewards credit cards often come with a variety of additional features that can add value to the account you choose. Popular perks include the following:
- International travel insurance
- Airport lounge access
- Complimentary flights
- Hotel stays
- Purchase protection insurance
- Extended warranty coverage
- Price match guarantees
- Concierge services
Is a rewards credit card worth it?
The value of a rewards credit card depends on your spending habits as much as it does on the actual card you choose. So rather than making a definitive statement about whether a rewards credit card will be worth it, let’s take a look at the key factors that make them likely or unlikely to work for you.
A rewards credit card could be worth it if you:
- Pay off your credit card balance in full every month
- Currently use or plan to use a credit card on a regular basis
- Know what type of points you want to earn
- Are part of or want to join an existing rewards program that is linked to reward credit cards (such as a frequent flyer program or shopping rewards program)
- Earn enough to pay a higher annual fee
- Can regularly make use of the rewards or complimentary extras on the card, such as insurance and lounge passes
A rewards credit card might not be right if you:
- Have a lot of credit card debt
- Often carry a balance on your credit card
- Rarely use a credit card
- Won’t regularly use complimentary extras on the card
- Can’t afford a higher annual fee
- Are tempted to spend more so you can earn rewards
While rewards credit cards can be a useful way to get something back on your spending, it’s important to remember that you have to repay everything (plus interest). There are also annual fees and other costs to consider.
So if you want a rewards credit card now, start by comparing a range of reward credit cards based on the rewards program, costs and your spending habits. You can then read reviews of individual cards, check your eligibility and apply for a card that suits your needs.
Frequently asked questions about rewards credit cards
Want to know more about rewards credit cards? You can find answers to the most common questions we get about them below. You can also leave your own question by filling out the form below.